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Fermilab — Excursions Into Matter, Space and Time

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the lots-of-good-work dept.

Science 71

An anonymous reader writes "Fermilab is one of the great physics research facilities in the U.S. It is mainly known for its Tevatron proton/anti-proton accelerator to help physicists understand how materials interact with each other. TG Daily has a extensive article detailing Fermilab's accelerator chain and the work that is being done there. It's an interesting read, especially since many of us won't have a chance to visit Fermilab and the fact that the Tevatron accelerator is scheduled to be shut down next year."

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No matter... (5, Funny)

mastermemorex (1119537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373027)

All we have to know about mater-space-time is in the series documental Star-Trek.

Re:No matter... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20373237)

I have this sneaking suspicion that English is, perhaps, not your first language.

For what it is worth, the word is "documentary," Star Trek should not be hyphenated, and "mater-space-time" should probably be "matter, space, and time".

- Signed anonymously since some folks may think this is trolling when I am, in fact, just trying to help a non-native speaker

Re:No matter... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20373471)

Of course english isn't his first language. He's a Thermian in search of a captain for their starship.

Re:No matter... (1)

mastermemorex (1119537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20375307)

Well, not exacto at all. I came from the future through a space-time-warp made with a positronic-bubble. The future-English is spoken in this way.

Re:No matter... (1)

Bloater (12932) | more than 7 years ago | (#20376257)

time-law will-has forbidden revealing postronic-bubble-tek or your space-time-travel while in was-space. back-travel at once for recycling.

Oh no! I've revealed my space-time-travel too. I must back-travel now.

By recycling I ensure my life
Improvement saves my matter
I give thanks for learning
By recycling I ensure my life

Re:No matter... (1)

mastermemorex (1119537) | more than 7 years ago | (#20376805)

Yes. In fact as you will discover soon, it is not possible to move matter through time only information. I am physically in the future, but I am able to write in Slashdot through a quantum synchronization.
You will be surprise how many aliens and people from the future are writing in Slashdot. :)

Re:No matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20379227)

Problem only is finding WiFi SSID available on photoelectric quantum tensor for live history pre-2004. But after 2010 or so, access getting to historic internets pretty ubiquitous. (Thanks future past people!) Still it's possible access history older through direct circuit state modality, but that require lot of precision (knowing exact target circuit location) - photoelectric pushing RF to WiFi through lots easier.

Which rig better btw? Microsingularity torsion, or photon orbital flux? Still debating with past future self...

The True Nature of Space & Time & The 4th (1)

22RealMcCoy (864375) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373633)

The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions. Moving Dimensions Theory accounts for the aetherless aether.
This simple postulate offers a physical model underlying and unifiying:

RELATIVITY: 1) length contraction 2) time dilation 3) the equivalence of mass and energy 4) the constant velocity of light 5) the independence of the speed of light from the velocity of the source

QUANTUMN MECHANICS 1) action at a distance 2) wave-particle duality 3) interference phenomena 4) EPR paradox

THERMODYNAMICS 1) Time's arrow 2) Entropy

STRING THEORY'S MANY DIMENSIONS / KALUZA/KLEIN THEORY 1) a fourth expanding dimension can be interepreted as many dimensions, each time it expands

THE UNITY OF THE DUALITIES 1) wave/particle duality 2) time/space duality 3) energy/mass duality 4) E/B duality

GENERAL RELATIVITY 1) Gravitational redshift 2) Gravity waves 3) Gravitational attraction

THE SPACE-TIME BACKGROUND 1) quantum foam 2) the smearing of space and time at small distances 3) Hawking's imaginary time

PARADOXES 1) MDT explains away Godel's Block Universe 2) MDT unfreezes time 3) Resolves Zeno's Paradox

ONE GETS ALL OF THIS FROM A SIMPLE POSTULATE:

The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions in a sphereically symmetric manner, in units of the Planck length, at the rate of c.

This means that every point in three dimnesional space is always expanding into a fourth dimensional sphere with a radius of the plank length. A photon is matter caught on the surface of this quantized expansion, and thus energy is quantized. The expansion of the fourth dimension occurs at the rate of c, and thus the velocity of all photons is c.

Check out the t-shirt with a simple proof of MDT:

http://www.cafepress.com/autumnrangers.72464949 [cafepress.com] [cafepress.com]

"The only way to stay stationary in the fourth dimension is to move at the speed of light through the three spatial dimensions. Ergo the fourth dimension is expanding at the rate of c relative to the three spatial dimenions."

How sad it is that when truth stares modern physicists in the face, they must close their eyes so as to get a postdoc or raise more funds for String Theory.

Moving Dimensions Theory is in complete agreement with all experimental tests and phenomena associated with special and general relativity. MDT is in complete agreement with all physical phenomena as predicted by quantum mechanics and demonstrated in extensive experiments. The genius and novelty of MDT is that it presents a common physical model which shows that phenomena from both relativity and quantum mechanics derive from the same fundamental physical reality.

Nowhere does String Theory nor Loop Quantum Gravity account for quantum entanglement nor relativistic time dilation. MDT shows these derive from the same underlying physical reality. Nowhere does ST nor LQG account for wave-particle duality nor relativistic length contraction. MDT shows these derive from the same underlying physical reality. Nowhere does ST nor LQG account for the constant speed of light, nor the independence of the speed of light on the velocity of the source, nor entropy, nor time's arrow. MDT shows these derive from the same underlying physical reality. Nowhere does String Theory nor Loop Quantum Gravity resolve the paradox of Godel's Block Universe which troubled Eisntein. MDT resolves this paradox.

Simply put, MDT replaces the contemporary none-theories with a physical theory, complete with a simple postulate that unifies formerly disparate phenomena within a simple context.

THE GENERAL POSTULATE OF DYNAMIC DIMENSIONS THEORY The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions.

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. -Albert Einstein

But after thirty years of the absurdity of String Theory, millions of dollars from the NSF, and billions of complementary dollars from tax and tuition and endowments spent on killing physics and indie physicists, perhaps it's time for something that makes sense-for a physical theory that actually accounts for a deeper reality from which both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, from which time, entanglement, gravity, entropy, interference, the constant speed of light, relativistic time dilation, length contraction, and the equivalence of mass and energy emerge. It's time for Moving Dimensions Theory-MDT. -The Physicist with No Name

I know what you're thinking. Did he say there were thirty-six dimensions or only thirty-five? Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I've kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .45 Revolver-the most powerful hand gun in the world and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question--Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk!? -Clint Eastwood

I'm interested in the fact that the less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice. -Clint Eastwood

Go ahead. Make my day. -Clint Eastwood

MDT IN BRIEF Without further adieu, allow me to present the beauty and elegance of MDT by showing both its simplicity and far-reaching ability to account for and answer fundamental questions. All of the below will be elaborated on throughout the book.

Questions Addressed by MDT:

Why does light have a maximum, constant speed independent of the source? The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions. A photon is momenergy that exists orthogonal to the three spatial dimensions. It is carried along by the expanding fourth dimension. So no matter how fast the source is moving when the photon is emitted, the photon travels at the rate with which the fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions. Thus c is always independent of the movement of the source.

Why are light and energy quantized? The fourth dimension is expanding in a quantized manner relative to the three spatial dimensions. Light and energy are matter rotated completely into the fourth expanding dimension, and as it expands in a quantized manner, light and energy are thus quantized.

Why is the velocity of light constant in all frames? Time is an emergent phenomena that arises because the fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions. The flow of time is inextricably wed to the emission and propagation of photons. In all biological, mechanical, and electronic clocks, the emission and propagation of photons is what determines time. The velocity of light is always measured with respect to time, which is inextricably linked to the velocity of light. This tautology ensures that the velocity of light, measured relative to the velocity of light, will always be the same.

How can photons display both wave and particle properties? The fundamental photon propagates as a spherical wave-front, surfing the fourth expanding dimension. This is because the fourth expanding dimension appears as a spherical wavefront as it expands through the three spatial dimensions. The act of measurement localizes the photon's momenergy, taking it out of the expanding fourth dimension and trapping it in the three stationary spatial dimensions, and it appears as a localized particle, trapped by electrons as it blackens a grain on a photographic plate.

How can matter display both wave and particle properties? The fundamental electron is abuzz with photons. Photons are continually being emitted into the fourth expanding dimension and reabsorbed by the electron. The continual dance with these photons gives the electron its wave properties. Nothing moves without photons which up the net probability that the combine momenergy will be in the expanding fourth dimension. The more photons one adds to an object, the greater the chance it has of existing in the expanding fourth dimension, and thus it moves.

Why are there non-local effects in quantum mechanics? The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions. That means that what begins as a point in the fourth dimension is a sphere with a 186,000 mile radius one second later. So it is that the entire spherical wavefront of the photon exists in the exact same place in time. Hence the non-locality observed in double slit experiments, the EPR effect, and quantum entanglement. Take two interacting spin ½ photons and let them propagate at the speed of c in opposite directions. They are yet at the exact same place in time! And too, they are yet in the exact same place of the fourth expanding dimension.

Why does time stop at the speed of light? Time depends on the emission and propagation of photons. If no photons are emitted, time does not occur. This holds true whether the clock is an unwinding copper spring, a biological system such as a heart, or an oscillating quartz crystal. No photom emission=no time! As an object approaches the speed of light, its ability to emit photons without reabsorbing them diminishes. An object traveling at the speed of light cannot emit a photon.

How come a photon does not age? A photon represents momenergy rotated entirely into the fourth expanding dimension. A photon stays the exact same place in the fourth dimension, no matter how far it travels. A photon stays the exact same place in time, no matter how far it travels. Again, time is not the fourth dimension, but in inherits properties of the fourth dimension.

Why are inertial mass and gravitational mass the same thing?

Why do moving bodies exhibit length contraction? Movement is always accompanied by a shortening in length. This is because the only way for a body to move is for it to undergo a rotation into the forth dimension, which is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions. The more energy an electron has, the more photons it possesses, and the higher probability it exists in the expanding fourth dimension. Hence its length appears contracted as perceived from the three spatial dimensions.

Why are mass and energy equivalent? The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions. That means that a baseball sitting on a lab table stationary in our three-dimensional inertial reference frame, is yet moving at a fantastic velocity relative to the fourth dimension. Hence every seemingly stationary mass has a vast energy, as given by E=mc2. In a nuclear reaction matter is rotated into the expanding fourth dimension, appearing as high-enegry photons (gamma rays) propagating at the same velocity of the fourth expanding dimension-c.

Why does time's arrow point in the direction it points in? The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions. Hence every photon naturally expands in a spherically symmetric manner. Hence every electron, or piece of matter that interacts with photons, is naturally carried outward from a central point in a spherically symmetric manner. Hence the particles in a drop of dye in a swimming pool dissipate in a spherically symmetric manner, and are never reunited. Hence time's arrow and entropy.

Why do photons appear as spherically-symmetric wavefronts traveling at a velocity c? The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions at the velocity c. Hence photons, which are tiny packets of momenergy rotated entirely into the fourth dimension, appear as spherically-symmetric wavefronts propagating at the velocity c.

Why is there a minus sign in the following metric? x^2+y^2+z^2-c^2t^2=s^2 The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions at the velocity c. Hence the only way to stay still in the space-time continuum, and to achieve a 0 interval, is to move with the velocity of light.

What deeper reality underlies Einstein's postulates of relativity? The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions at the velocity c. This single postulate assures that the speed of light is constant for all observers and that the laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames.

What deeper reality underlies Newton's laws? Newton's laws are an approximation of relativity and quantum mechanics, and as MDT underlies QM & relativity, it underlies Newton's laws.

Why is an increase in velocity always accompanied by a decrease in length as measured by an external observer? All increases in velocity are accompanied by rotations into the fourth dimension. All particles can be represented by momenergy 4-vectors. The greater the momenrgy component in the expanding fourth dimension, the greater the velocity and speed of the particle. Rest mass is the invariant here. It never changes. It prefers the three spatial dimensions. In order for it to move, one must gain energy in the form of photons. These photons prefer the fourth expanding dimension. The more photons one adds, the greater the component of the momenergy 4-vector that appears in the fourth expanding dimension, the more energy the particle has, the shorter it appears, and the faster it moves.

How MDT Is Aiding Fellow Physicists

"The conclusions from Bell's theorem are philosophically startling; either one must totally abandon the realistic philosophy of most working scientists or dramatically revise our concept of space-time." - Abner Shimony and John Clauser

Moving Dimensions Theory provides this new concept of space-time. The vast ambitions of most tenure-track physicists, including string theorists and LQG hypers, causes them to focus on irrelevant, minute questions, and thus, though funded by millions for over thirty years, have not yet been able to string the bow. Deeper, true physicists, such as Abner Shimony and John Clauser are alert to the fact that physics need news ideas.

The expanding fourth dimension gives rise to non-local phenomena and quantum entanglement, as the expanding fourth dimension means that two events separated in the three spatial dimensions can yet appear to be at the exact same place in the fourth dimension. MDT thus provides the new concept of space-time.

"For me, then, this is the real problem with quantum theory: the apparently essential conflict between any sharp formulation and fundamental relativity. It may be that a real synthesis of quantum and relativity theories requires not just technical developments but radical conceptual renewal." -John Bell

"Entanglement is not one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics." -Erwin Schrodinger

"For me, then, this is the real problem with quantum theory: the apparently essential conflict between any sharp formulation and fundamental relativity. It may be that a real synthesis of quantum and relativity theories requires not just technical developments but radical conceptual renewal." -John Bell

Moving Dimensions Theory provides this radical conceptual renewal.

"Entanglement is not one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics." -Erwin Schrodinger

The expanding fourth dimension gives rise to non-local phenomena and quantum entanglement, as the expanding fourth dimension means that two events separated in the three spatial dimensions can yet be at the exact same place in the fourth dimension. MDT thus provides the new concept of space-time.

http://physicsmathforums.com/ [physicsmathforums.com]

Mater-space-time? (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 7 years ago | (#20374207)

Mother Space-Time? Is she related to Mother Freedom? Has anyone written a song about her?

``The Big Bang (the Mother of all Space-Time)'' by Hotblack Desiato & Disaster Area (parental lyrics warning)

Re:No matter... (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 7 years ago | (#20381763)

Star Trek may be fictional and even wrong sometimes, but puts you in the right mindset, i.e. that of science. Unlike other recent successes (*caugh* Harry Potter *caugh*) which are completely mindless...

Fermilab Bison (5, Interesting)

sonoronos (610381) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373129)

One thing that the article leaves out, unfortunately, is another unique property of Fermilab - that it owns a herd of American Bison. Having "signature" animals at National Labs isn't unique to Fermi - for example, Argonne National Labs, also in Illinois, has a large population of the cream-colored Dama Dama "White Deer." However, while Argonne merely allows the deer to roam freely on its land, Fermilab Bison are actively cultivated by the lab, creating some really fine breeding studs, and acting as a sustainable way of preserving one aspect of the natural "Prairie" that is part of North American history.

Re:Fermilab Bison (burgers) (1)

apsmith (17989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373199)

Plus, they fed us great buffalo burgers a few times when I was there as an undergrad student helping with one of the projects :-) That was a loooong time ago though, I wonder where the bison go these days.

Re:Fermilab Bison (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373205)

The Femilab bison have to be fine breeding studs; travelling at half light speed and crashing into a matter sample in under a millisecond doesn't leave much time for foreplay.

Re:Fermilab Bison (4, Informative)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373307)

Actually that was on page 4
Bisons
6800 acres of land provide lots of opportunity to preserve vegetation and wildlife. Arriving at Fermilab through its signature gate in fact feels much more like arriving at a park rather than a high-energy research site. Vegetation is brought back to its original prairie state; wildlife includes 277 bird species, 54 species of butterflies, about 18,000 Canada geese during migration cycles, more than 350 deers - and 45 bisons.

Re:Fermilab Bison (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373605)

Should not reply to self but oh well. I might come off to harsh, they did mention the bison but not to the level you did. Interesting to know. This article also had a few spelling errors that even I noticed which is saying a lot.

Re:Fermilab Bison (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 7 years ago | (#20379193)

DOH!!!

... and I thought Bisons were particles having the mixed properties of Pions an Bosons!!!


- It's like trying to discover how our government work by colliding the House and Senate at nearly the speed of light, and see what kind of laws are created...

Actually, it's on page 4 (5, Interesting)

apsmith (17989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373365)

The bison are indeed mentioned in the article.

Some things it doesn't mention though, that I recall from my brief summer there 20+ years back:

* the radioactive groundhogs. Every national lab I've been to seemed to have a colony of groundhogs, I guess they like the security.... At Fermilab, there was a burrow in the middle of a mile-long berm of dirt that acted as a beam dump to generate neutrinos (only neutrinos make it through that much matter without being stopped).

* Wilson's artworks - I assume they're still around. Robert Wilson was the instigator of the lab, and got it built on time and under budget. He was also a bit of a sculptor, and a number of his artworks were on the grounds around the administration building. In fact I think he designed the rather unique admin building too.

* the annual "race around the ring" - actually, maybe that's gone away since Leon Lederman's no longer the lab director. It was quite a challenge when I was there though; you can imagine a bunch of desk physicists and engineers trying to make it around the 3+ miles of the ring road in a reasonable amount of time...

Re:Actually, it's on page 4 (4, Interesting)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20374021)

Wilson's artworks - I assume they're still around.

They are. The power poles shaped like the Pi symbol are being replaced this summer, they even got the city of Batavia to pay for it.

One bit of entertaining lore (I can't confirm it's true but I've heard it from several lab veterans) about the art around the lab is the "symmetry" sculpture at the lab's west gate. It's a large arch with three limbs that towers over the roadway, and a visitor paying attention may notice the west-facing (public) side is painted completely black, and the east (lab) side is orange. The reason? Originally the sculpture was entirely orange. Stayed that way for almost 20 years. Eventually locals decided it was an eyesore, orange hasn't been a popular color since the 70's and I guess people got tired of it. So the lab painted the outside flat black to keep the peace with the community.

Orange and blue is still pretty common around the lab, the CDF detector building even got a fresh coat of paint last year. It is pretty ugly, but it's been that way for decades and it would suck to change it now.

Re:Actually, it's on page 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20374281)

Today's random coincidence: I am wearing a Fermilab "slow run with the director" t-shirt from 1994, while John Peoples was director. I don't know about now, but it was still run then. The pictures on the t-shirt show a top quark event and a group of Greek soldiers sailing back to Washington after destroying Waxahachie Texas, where the Superconducting Super Collider was supposed to be. (Waxahachie is represented as Troy.)

Re:Fermilab Bison (5, Funny)

martyb (196687) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373477)

However, while Argonne merely allows the deer to roam freely on its land, Fermilab Bison are actively cultivated by the lab, creating some really fine breeding studs, and acting as a sustainable way of preserving one aspect of the natural "Prairie" that is part of North American history.

And let me guess... they named the first calf a "Higgs Bison"? <grin>

Re:Fermilab Bison (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373573)

and be careful not to step in some puon

Higgs Bison? (2, Funny)

HiggsBison (678319) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373677)

And let me guess... they named the first calf a "Higgs Bison"? <grin>

Actually, the Higgs Bison would be the ones grazing in the Higgs Field.

Re:Fermilab Bison (2, Informative)

Octopus (19153) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373589)

I grew up near the edge of Fermilab, so did most of my family. Pretty easy for kids to take a bike ride straight in there. Lots of weird anomoly rumors, too, which is natural.

I think security clamped down suddenly after 9/11.

If anyone's interested in some of Fermilab's history and culture, check out Leon Lederman's "The God Particle".

Not like Fermilab is shutting down (2, Informative)

manasclerk (198849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373153)

They're working on getting the International Linear Collider [linearcollider.org] to be based between them and Argonne National Laboratory, a few miles away. Of course, that will probably just be a really deep, really long tunnel, unless you're into the engineering of these things.

Re:Not like Fermilab is shutting down (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373855)

I had a professor that was not too optimistic about new projects like this in particle physics. He said something several thousand PhD particle physicists are going to be out of work when Fermilab shuts down, and none of the proposals for new research that would keep them employed in the field were having much luck. I believe he said Americans were already the biggest contingent at CERN as particle physics research fades in the US.

Re:Not like Fermilab is shutting down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20376289)

Rumor has it that the Linear Collider will keep a flock of Big Horn sheep.

Re:Not like Fermilab is shutting down (2, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#20380163)

They're working on getting the International Linear Collider to be based between them and Argonne National Laboratory

Actually I understood the site was to be a green-field site somewhere between Fermi and DeKalb. However they face a very hard battle getting it based in the US. There is still considerable resentment over the cancellation of the SSC in the international community: they got foreign investment and then the US congress cancelled the project. There is also the significant problem of visas which, although it has recently eased somewhat is still a major pain. Try persuading the Chinese or Indians that they should invest money in a lab that they will have significant problems ever visiting, let alone working at.

In the past the US could just front the cost by itself but the expense of the newest accelerators now requires global cooperation. So unless the US government can learn to act as a responsible funding partner and host it will be an uphill battle to get an international science projects of this magnitude based there. Plus I bet they would have a far easier time selling the original idea of a site somewhere in Northern California! This may sound trivial but you are trying to attract the best and brightest minds in the world to this project and it is worth remembering that people like this generally have a large number of options open to them. Unless they have family there moving to northern Illinois is not likely to be something that will be attractive - although as a colleague of mine put it when we were both based at Fermilab: sometimes we have to suffer for our science!

The truth about FermiLab (0, Troll)

heauxmeaux (869966) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373165)

I have no idea what goes on there. I am in desperate need of scientific help as I have had a painful erection for the last 16 hours and I have jerked it raw.

Paging Dr. Gordon Freeman (1)

a-zarkon! (1030790) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373241)

From TFA,

This environment allows the protons and antiprotons to be lifted into another energy dimension:

So when they have "beam loss" or a "quench" - is that when the portal to Xen opens up? Now where did I leave that crowbar...

rmare (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20373265)

man walking. It's surveys show that You don't nned to population as well Of programming have sbomebody just recent article put knows that ever

steel cuts like butter apparently (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373299)

Controlling a 0.98 tera electron volt (TeV) beam requires quite some precision: Even if just a portion of this beam gets out of control - scientists refer to this event as "beam loss" - a "quench" can happen and damage is done very quickly: While these quenches do not happen very often, a problem for example in the cryogenic system can cause the beam to leave its path. The Tevatron has an automated shutdown function in such a case, but the high energy causes damage even within short time periods: Within 16 ns, one beam burned through about 1.5 m (about 5 feet) of solid steel.
they built themselves a deathray :)

Re:steel cuts like butter apparently (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373631)

Butter? That makes water look difficult to cut, in comparison.

Re:steel cuts like butter apparently (1)

Randseed (132501) | more than 7 years ago | (#20374137)

Now, all they need to do is miniaturize the frickin' beam generator so that it can be mounted on the frickin' head of a frickin' shark.

Re:steel cuts like butter apparently (1)

witte (681163) | more than 7 years ago | (#20382527)

[Homer] mmm... crispy scientist bacon... mmm... *drool*

Bigots! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20373331)

"Fermilab is one of the great physics research facilities in the U.S. It is mainly known for its Tevatron proton/anti-proton accelerator"

I am dismayed that Fermilab is so anti-proton, and they are accelerating anti-protonism.

Re:Bigots! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20373445)

I agree, anti-proton is so negative. They need to be more positron.

The Ring of Fire (4, Funny)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373397)

The company I work for is involved with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in England just outside of Abingdon. They also have a synchotron facility and gave us a demonstration on how they accelerate particles within a beam by bending it with magnets to form a giant ring (I think the one in RAL is about 3 miles in circumference). They use very complex sensors to study the "scattering" of particles colliding with various materials to determine various characteristics and properties.

It was a very neat and interesting presentation... Unfortunately, having some of the finer details explained by scientists who live and breath the stuff put it just ever so slightly above my level of understanding (I was lost in the first 30 seconds)... At one point, I could've sworn they just broke out some random Star Trek technobabble just to get a laugh out of me later =P.

I agree with the author, the article is indeed a very interesting read. And yes, while Tevatron is shutting down, US still leads the world in similar facilities [wikipedia.org] , including one not too far from Fermilab at Argonne.

Re:The Ring of Fire (2, Interesting)

Gromius (677157) | more than 7 years ago | (#20377415)

Sorry, Rutherford's synchrotron is nothing like the Tevatron. And none of the US's remaining facilities are anything like the Tevatron. The Tevatron is a high energy particle collider (in fact the highest energy one ever built) which has about 1000 times more power than your typical synchrotron. Only the LHC in Europe (which on paper looks 7 times more powerful but in practice is about 3-4 times more powerful) can revival it and its only going to come on line next summer. Put it this way, if RALs synchrotron is a firework rocket, the Tevatron is the space shuttle :) Leading the world in making firework rockets is a tad different from leading the world in space technology. Basically you need that energy to fundamental physics research which you just cant do with the low energy standard ones. For the record, I spent my PhD using Tevatron data to search for evidence that we had managed to rip a whole in our 3 dimensional space and sent a particle into the 5th dimension. You need a fair amount of energy to do that. Dr Grom Former Tevatron Physicist (as of about 4 months ago) Current Rutherford Staff, working on the LHC

Re:The Ring of Fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20382891)

Hmm... depends what you want to do, RAL is far better at making Neutrons than the Tevatron will ever be. Not everything in the world is High Energy Physics, the intensity frontier is just as important as the energy frontier. If the tevatron is the millenium falcon, ISIS is a star destroyer.

FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20373415)

FINALLY I GOT AFRITST POST

Nothing to see here: Move Along! (3, Interesting)

bbsguru (586178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373431)

From TFM:
"Most recently, you may have heard of discovery of the "triple scoop" baryon, which contains one quark from each generation of matter."
That's really all there is about "the work being done there". This is really just a sort of know your neighbors piece for the local pholks who drive by every day.

So, Captain, where do they keep the Death Ray?

Re:Nothing to see here: Move Along! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20374963)

Are we quarking up the wrong tree on this one?

Good followup to the LHC story (2)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373733)

This is really cool to read and compare to the NY Times profile of the Large Hadron Collider [nytimes.com] at CERN. The feature popped up on Slashdot a few months back. [slashdot.org]

While the LHC is much bigger and has more advanced detectors, the basic ideas are similar. Both take free protons, then send them through multiple accellerators, finally delivering them to the big circular accellerators for the collisions.

The LHC is 17 miles around, while the Tevatron is only about 4 miles. The LHC will cause collisions at 14 TeV compared to Tevatron's 2 TeV. The LHC is completely underground, while the Tevatron is visible on the surface.

Once the Tevatron is decommissioned, there will still be the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in New York doing high energy particle physics in the US, and I understand Fermilab and other American institutes will be involved in processing the deluge of data produced by LHC.

Re:Good followup to the LHC story (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373767)

There are others besides the RHIC. The Beavatron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and of course the Stanford Linear Accelerator are still under operation. The Stanford Linear Accelerator has the B-Factory as one of its targets. The B-factory is an extremely advanced detector (in high energy Meson regime particles) and is the center of the BaBar project.

Re:Good followup to the LHC story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20374291)

The Stanford Linear Accelerator has the B-Factory as one of its targets. The B-factory is an extremely advanced detector (in high energy Meson regime particles) and is the center of the BaBar project.
Babar and PEP-II (which constitute SLAC's B-Factory) are scheduled to end operations during 2008/2009. In the following years, the Linac at SLAC will mainly be used for LCLS (Linac Coherent Light Source), a free-electron laser.

Re:Good followup to the LHC story (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 7 years ago | (#20374871)

How sad. I designed some of the ICs for the drift chamber trigger for PEP-II. I am proud to have been a part of that project, but I haven't worked on it since 1997. Thanks for the update.

Re:Good followup to the LHC story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20374563)

I thought I read a few years back that SLAC had been decommissioned. Maybe there was another accellerator at Stanford?

I was aware there were other accellerators still in action, but as I understand, RHIC is the most powerful by a decent margin.

Re:Good followup to the LHC story (2, Informative)

bockelboy (824282) | more than 7 years ago | (#20373885)

I understand Fermilab and other American institutes will be involved in processing the deluge of data produced by LHC.
I would say so! FNAL (plus 7 other universities) will probably have around 50% of the processing capacity for the CMS project (one of the LHC detectors).

Just because the detector isn't physically located at FNAL doesn't mean their contribution isn't significant. The whole design for grid-computing is that a physicist can be just as effective on their laptop in Starbucks as sitting next to the detector.

A lot of brain power is still there. They're great people to work with too.

Not so cool (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20373955)

I work at Fermilab and life here only looks good on outside. Last dozen years the lab has been really struggling with deciding what to do after the Tevatron shutdown. The lab's managemen are bunch of bureaucrats who, in my opinion, lack passion for physics and have no great (or even good) ideas for the future. The lab also struggles with finding the new and capable people. There are large number of people at the lab who have been around for so long that at some point they just got tired of doing physics. For example, the guy who was in charged of designing the magnets for LHC (which famously exploded earlier this year) has been promoted within the lab to a management position (but before they exploded). Somehow, some people are promoted within the lab without the regard to the real performance. There are many many problems with this ageing facility and it is not clear that the organization has talent and will to move into the future.

Re:Not so cool (2, Interesting)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#20374559)

Yeah. I've heard similar statements from my friends that have interned there over the summer. But, man its still quite an awesome place to visit. That really was my dream to work there, when I was in grade school. It still inspires that sense of awe. I wonder if they'd let me just live there and herd the buffalo, or at least ride one to work. I must go again soon, so I can look out from the tower's observation deck and stare at the magnificent dirt circle.

Re:Not so cool (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20376447)

I also work at Fermilab in the sense that I work on an experiment there, but am university-based. Although the lab management is not perfect, the issue of looking towards the future is actually a much broader issue for the high-energy physics (HEP) community. All of the US HEP accelerators will be shutdown by 2010, and the focus will be on the LHC for the next decade. Given the timescale and resources it takes to build these accelerators we really should be in final stages of design with a funding plan in place in order to take the next step at the energy frontier. We are not even close.

Part of the problem is that technology has not progressed to the point that we can keep attaining higher and higher energies...we just keep building a bigger hammer. Twenty years ago, it was the SSC that was going to take the place of the Tevatron. It would have been even higher in energy than the LHC with a total collision energy of 40 TeV (20 TeV per beam), as opposed to the LHC's 14 TeV. The project was cancelled in 1993 because the estimated cost had risen to $12 billion from the originally proposed $4.4B. How was it technologically feasible to envision a higher energy accelerator that started construction 15 yrs ago? Simple, it was just bigger...50 miles in circumference as compared to the 17 mile LHC tunnel. Unfortunately bigger means more expensive and that is not a sustainable roadmap for HEP.

The International Linear Collider, which Fermilab hopes to host, is a similar accelerator on steroids. Start with the 3 km linear accelerator concept from SLAC and build another one that is 30 km long. Not exactly visionary, but it will allow electrons and positrons to collide with a total energy of 500 GeV. This makes it about 2.5 times more energetic than the maximum energy attained for e+/e- collisions at LEP. A rather small increase if you consider the fact that LHC is 7 times more energetic than the Tevatron. Furthermore, at $15 billion it is not cheap to build. The only way such a machine makes sense is if you already know there is a new particle (like the Higgs boson or the least massive super-symmetric partner) in that range. If you know that the particle is there from a fuzzy snapshot taken at the LHC, then the ILC is the machine you want to build to study that particle with precision. This is very similar to running the LEP accelerator at 45 GeV per beam in order to study the 90 GeV Z boson which has the correct quantum numbers to be produced copiously at those beam energies. For that reason ILC will be in a holding pattern until the data from LHC has been analyzed. If the Higgs is there in the range predicted theoretically using global fits to precision electroweak data, then the ILC is in business. Hopefully, the R&D, funding, and international issues have been ironed out and the way has been paved to host the ILC at FNAL. This has been Fermilab's primary vision.

Beyond the ILC, a true quantum leap at the energy frontier can only be obtained by building a much more massive machine, bigger than the SSC or ILC. Other than that it takes some technological innovation. The CLIC accelerator is what CERN envisions as the next step, where e+/e- are collided at as much as 4 TeV. It would truly be an amazing feat, but so far it looks like science fiction. FNAL is instead betting on the muon collider. Here you collide mu+ and mu- instead of e+ and e-. Because the muon is so much heavier, it can be accelerated to much high energies before it starts losing all of its energy to Bremstrahlung radiation. That means you can build a 2-4 TeV machine and still have a more cost-effective circular footprint in which the muons can make multiple passes. This is in direct contrast to the ILC where it is already recognized that the only way to get e+/e- collisions to 500 GeV is with a linear device. Also beyond that there are some physics channels where the cross-section scales as the ration of the masses-squared (m_muon/m_e)^2=(207)^2 . That means you get an extra boost of 40000 in the effective luminosity for those channels. The muon collider can also be build in a few stages that lead to useful interim programs such as a neutrino factory. Right now the muon collider is also science fiction, but the people working on the difficult aspects think that those can be overcome. It is far more elegant than building a bigger hammer, and I think FNAL is making the right move by supporting the initiative.

If I had to fault FNAL management (and DOE) for one thing, it is the aversion for building a machine at the flux frontier. All of these projects are so far off (ILC, muon collider, CLIC, SSC') that the lab has to be thinking about what to do in the interim. There was a proposal a few years ago to build the Proton Driver. The Proton Driver would not be higher in beam energy, in fact it would most likely only be 8 GeV, but it would produce one blowtorch of a beam. The total beam energy (energy/proton * number of protons) would be in the 2-4 MW range. There is a already a 50 GeV machine of the same overall wattage under construction in Japan at J-PARC, but the protons from that machine are oversubscribed and it would take decades just to perform the experiments already proposed. The Proton Driver ($500 million) allows for a plethora of experiments with neutrinos, and precision physics with muons and kaons. Combine that accelerator with a deep underground laboratory (also $500 million) to fire neutrinos at and for a grand total of about $1B we will have two new facilities based in the US with lots of exciting physics to study, as well as benefiting other fields like geology and microbiology. Sounds like a no-brainer, but the people who speak out against it usually do so because they feel that we have to pursue an "ILC or bust" strategy if the ILC is to be hosted in the US. They also point out that such a setup will not support nearly as many people in the HEP community as a new high energy collider. The latter point is certainly true, just look at the number of dissertations produced by the collider program at FNAL compared to the number from all of the neutrino projects and you will see there were a factor of 10 more dissertations from the collider. However, the counter-argument is that members of the collider community will have their hands busy with the LHC for the next decade, while the lab accelerator, infrastructure, and the rest of the community need something now. Would a $500 million machine (like the Proton Driver) built over the next 5 years really interfere with the plans for a $15 billion ILC for which construction cannot even start until the 2020's...I doubt it.

In the end there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. Recently Fermilab empaneled a Steering Committee to explore these exact issues and present a proposal for an interim program at FNAL. Their report just came out last week and the recommendation is for Project X. Project X is essentially the same as the Proton Driver in the sense that the beam paramters and physics reach is all still about the same. However, the accelerator will be constructed as a scaled down version of the ILC so that it can be used as a testing ground for the superconducting cavities, and other components that would eventually be used in the 30 km underground version. In this way it is really the best of both worlds. ILC proponents get a scaled down proof in principle and physicists wanting to do experiments at the flux frontier have a new machine. The last HEP lab in the US can remain a vibrant physics center while the future vision materializes from the LHC results and ongoing accelerator research. All of this for a relatively economical $500M.

Tevatron? (1)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 7 years ago | (#20374277)

So why do we need to electrify and accelerate pairs of sandals? Do they make you shockingly fast at running with them on?

(Yes, I know: TeV = Terra electron Volt)

Start your groaning about a lame joke now...

Re:Tevatron? (1)

Searinox (833879) | more than 7 years ago | (#20375381)

You obviously don't: It's "Tera Electron Volt" (one r)

Re:Tevatron? (1)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 7 years ago | (#20375479)

I recognized my spelling error after I submitted. Thanks.

Fembots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20374351)

Did anyone else read this quick and see it as "FemLab" and imagine a laboratory run by fembots? Okay, I guess it was just me.

Teh Ultimate Collider (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20374745)

The largest earth-bound collider would be one that circles earth.

Would anyone care to speculate on what kinds of energy levels, and what phenomena, we could investigate with a 7926 mile diameter collider?

Re:Teh Ultimate Collider (1)

azenpunk (1080949) | more than 7 years ago | (#20379975)

it would likely be the best way to study budget overruns.

Poorly Written (4, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#20375005)

"A random blogger regurgitates PR stuff, drools over PR stuff, and can't be bothered to Google, spellcheck, or edit his writings". Would be an apt description of TFA.
 
I long for the day when Slashdot linked to substantial material, rather than fanboi crap.

pi anyone? (1)

kwikrick (755625) | more than 7 years ago | (#20375217)

The Tevatron is really what Fermilab is known for today. From the outside, it is a gigantic ring visible through a circular hill with a length of 4 miles and a radius of one mile.
Err.. 1 mile radius and 4 miles circumference? Wow, time/space is seriously deformed by all those high energy impacts!

Re:pi anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20378915)

Unlike the points forming a circle, this has a diameter. So I'm guessing the radius was taken from the most inward wall, but the length taken at the route traveled by the particles, which would be farther out than the inward wall.

Re:pi anyone? (1)

Bigman (12384) | more than 7 years ago | (#20385093)

Or maybe it's square? Those goofy physicists, what will they do next!

Remember the collider that Bill Clinton cancelled? (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#20375277)

There was going to be a multi billion dollar collider in Texas(I think). It was shut down half way through production, and pissed off my physics teacher quite well.

In the Future...? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20375721)

Will there still be niggers in the future? Fuck I hate those damn dirty apes!!!

Been there a couple of times (2, Interesting)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 7 years ago | (#20375859)

My college roommate's older brother was a physicist who worked at Fermilab. We got a tour of the place while it was at the top of its game. (He later moved to CERN; it was a bit far to visit but he had interesting stories to make up for it. On a related note, my sister married a guy who worked at Argonne National Laboratory, so I got a VIP tour there, as well.)

Much later, during the dot-com collapse, I found myself on a job interview at Fermilab. They built a lot of custom Linux boxes and wrote a lot of software to run on them. It looked like an environment similar to Google today, with all the processing power you could imagine to throw at personal projects. At the time, you could easily download just about everything they wrote, but a lot of that disappeared after 9/11. A few people whom I trust warned that taking a government job would be a career killer for me, but the job I wound up taking paid even less. (Of course, my current job pays much better, so I guess that things even out.) Ultimately, I decided against moving my family 300 miles, but I still sometimes wish I'd taken the job.

Welcome to Batavia: City of Energy (1)

hedley (8715) | more than 7 years ago | (#20375957)

With a atomic orbit logo below it. They have the most memorable city motto and logo I have
ever seen.

Adventure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20378165)

Everything I know about computers comes from spending Saturdays there when I was in high school and playing adventure running on their systems (this was quite a long time ago). Without that experience my life would have turned out very very differently. Hopefully whatever follows FermiLab will continue to inspire students the way it inspired me (I did go to grad school in Physics and not C.S. though).

Who needs fermilab? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20378507)

When we have our TV and donuts.. mmmm donuts...

Fermi Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20379915)

I used to use Fermi Linux, similar to CentOS.

Re:Fermi Linux (1)

aalu.paneer (872021) | more than 7 years ago | (#20382651)

From Fermilinux FAQ [fnal.gov]

Q. What is Fermi Linux LTS?
A. Fermi Linux LTS (Long Term Support) is in essence RedHat Enterprise, recompiled.

Though now it is based on Scientific Linux distribution. [scientificlinux.org]

it's not closing next year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20387129)

Most reasonable is 2009, and there is chance that the shutdown is postponed further.
It's all dependant when the LHC experiments will start fully functional, which is not obvious at this point.

Anyhow also with tevatron shutdown there are a lot of data to analyze in the following years (a good analysis take at least three-four years). I guess you will hear from CDF and D0 for a lot more time than 2009.

(full-disclosure: I'm working at CDF)
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